IFAW Canada: Northern Dogs Veterinary Effort - Montreal Pups
This post was filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Jan Hannah, working from remote Cree communities, in the James Bay region of Quebec, Canada.
I received a call from a woman in one of the communities that IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project visits each spring. Over a number of weeks she had managed to take in six puppies –not littermates; just picked up one by one. Her question to me… could IFAW help her rehome them if she could get them as far as Montreal. I said yes. If I can get to Montreal and you can get the pups on the plane, it’s a go. Emaciated and mostly too young to be on the street, the pup count kept increasing until the night before she was leaving… final puppy tally = 11. If it had been any later, I’m sure she would have had more. All different ages, colours, sizes and litters. It’s cold up north and pups born at the end of August or early September have the added disadvantage of harsh winters to contend with. Small, young animals certainly feel the cold more than older, larger animals.
Sunday: A good friend volunteered to accompany me and this is such a big treat. Twelve hours of driving is long when you’re alone and a second pair of hands is invaluable when dealing with the pups on the way home, especially for the pee breaks. Lucille is awesome. You want a volunteer who sees something that needs doing and just does it. That’s Lucille.
Monday: We stayed overnight in Montreal last night so it only took us five minutes to get to the airport this morning. The plane arrived, the baggage hatch opened and I could see the crates with the dogs. Just as she said, all different sizes, ages, and colours. It never ceases to make me smile to see the way the baggage handlers talk to the dogs and stick their hands in the crates. Never. They gently offloaded the three crates and wheeled them off the tarmac and straight to us. No matter how dogs are described to you, you always build your own picture so of course none of them looked like I had imagined. There were two chocolate labs (or crosses) about 6 weeks old; one golden retriever cross about the same age; one black lab about that age and two that looked to be about 10 weeks old; one six month old female who looked like a flat coated retriever; one black wiener dog cross; and the only littermates in the bunch, a black and tan female and black and white freckled male, about four months old. Everyone looked in good shape, yapping and wagging their tails as we quickly took them out one by one, walked them around quickly to do their business and stretch their legs, and then put them into the crates in the van. Ten minutes and we are ready to go.